The Promised Land Sugaree Me And My Uncle Deal Black Throated Wind China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider Mexicali Blues Bertha
Playing In The Band He's Gone Jack Straw Bird Song Greatest Story Ever Told
Dark Star -> El Paso Sing Me Back Home Sugar Magnolia Casey Jones One More Saturday Night
JAY'S PERSONAL COMMENTS:
I have to say this was probably one of the most difficult shows I ever had to work on... EVER! Many reasons for this are able to be disclosed (which they will be), but some are verified confidential information which came from my Marin County source who sent me the best possible masters for this show.
Set I and II: Due to the tape reels being plastic, rather than the usual metal type, when the tapes were archived to PCM, there were static problems which occurred due to the ambient electrical charges which occur when tape reels are fast forwarded and fast rewound to "loosen up" the tape. The static discharged through the tape layers, rather than through the metal reels, so the audio wound up becoming filled with little "pops, ticks, and crackles" throughout a lot of the layers of tape.
To eliminate these very annoying (and very audible!) noises, I had to MANUALLY do and edit them out. Close to 3,000 total edits were performed for Set I and almost 2,500 edits for this same problem for Set II. This is why it took close to 8 weeks of work to get this show completed. Of course, I was working on other shows as well, but 90% of the time spent on this wonderful show was on literally looking at every second of audio, scrolling slowly forward, to find these problems. It would have been "nicer" if the static pops were almost identical in their waveform, as I could have had the editing software find them for me, and I would just edit them out. But, they varied to much in the way they appeared in the audio, that there was no "automatic" way to find these little buggers. I spent close to 120 hours on finding these items, but then I was done, I only had to "eliminate" less than 45 total seconds from the entire show, due to my not being able to correct the static noise by simply removing the offending part of the sample (each static "pop" was approximately 0.00025 seconds in length, so just eliminating the deformed part of the waveform too very little time away from the entire show), but having to eliminate an entire sample or part of a waveform (about 0.001 seconds in length). But the elimination of these annoying parts did not affect the way the end result audio sounds. There's no "stuttering" or noticeable missing audio. By performing the editing the way I did, it eliminated all of this "unwanted perverting" of the audio. There are only a few very minor pops left, which could not be eliminated without affecting the audio as a whole, so I simply lowered the volume of the offending noise, so it's just barely perceptible. With the usual amount of original RTR analog tape hiss from the decks being used at the slow speed, plus the analog transfer of the RTR > PCM (they did not do it in the digital domain for reasons I cannot divulge here), there was a fair amount of hiss throughout Sets I and II. I was able to reduce the amount by more than 85%, but there is still a very slight amount of hiss left, which is only noticeable during the between-song lulls, tunings, and the stage announcement, and ONLY if you have your audio cranked up REALLY HIGH! The amount of hiss I was able to remove, without affecting the audio, was so "massive", there were parts of the between song lulls where the band members were talking amongst themselves, etc., and that could not be heard at all, due to the original hiss. Now, you are able to hear EVERYTHING that was originally fed into the RTR decks!
Set III: This came from a totally different set of archive tapes, which had more underlying hiss to them (due to the extra PCM transfer in the lineage), but the overall audio was better them most of the versions out there. So, even more noise reduction using different techniques, was used, and the result was close (and to a slight degree, even better than the Set I/II reduction!). There was a point, beginning with "Sing Me Back Home", where you could hear that someone did some adjustment to the RTR deck, and this hiss rose dramatically from that point to the end of the show. So, not only was I faced with a "different" type of hiss, I had to now "match" the EQ curve of the audio to anything prior to that song! It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun, as this was one of my most challenging releases of a show I had ever attempted.
Overall, there is a LOT more total show audio than in almost all of the versions in circulation. Close to 10 minutes of "additional material" is in this release.
To perform all of the special static noise, I had to revert to converting the show from it's usual 16-bit/48.0 kHz data rate to the highest rates my software, sound card, and digital mixer can handle, which is 32-bit / 192 kHz sampling rate! This is better than DVD's audio, which is 24-bit/96 kHz sampling. But I needed to see more of the waveform, and to be able to manipulate the waveforms in such a precise manner. When I "down-converted" the audio to the standard for CD's, which is 16-bit / 44.1 kHz, I was able to move the quantization noise up into the 20 kHz range, which is well past the point if human hearing. Also, since this show contained very little in the way of high levels of audio above 14 kHz, it did not affect the "harmonics" and the subtle nuances which a lot of people would hear up in the 18-20 kHz audio range with a lot of music. So, everyone will hear all of the audio just as is was recorded onto the RTR decks, only with a much cleaner sound. I had to perform very little in the way of "trimming" of the show's audio for the reel flips and the PCM tape changes. From my editing notes, I was able to remove just under 50 total seconds of total show audio to perform the necessary crossfades. This is the best I could do with the masters I received, and I hope that everyone is happy with the results. I certainly was, and I am never totally happy with my "final release" versions of any show I've ever worked on!
Uploaded exclusively to GDLive.com by:
John "Jay" Serafin, owner/audio engineer @ Serafin Station Studio B
January 9, 2021 Subject:
Concatenated v tractable
Everybody has a show they consider the most-overrated. Often it's 5/8/77, 9/3/77, or Swing '77. Sometimes it's 2/13/70 or 7/2/73. I have long considered this show one of the three most overrated (one of the others is in that list). NOT because it's not hot, it is, but because it's not the ultimate show, or even the pinnacle of summer '72. There are some serious, must-hear highlights, but most of the show is average '72. There are very long tuning gaps, repeatedly out of tune guitars, and the endurance-challenging discomfort of the triple-digit temps that melted the players and burned the Heads bleeds through into the listening experience. Often revered as a 5-hour show, only 2hrs15mins has actual music. I go back to this show every so many years; enjoying the show, reconfirming my opinion (though this time adding ¼ star). The show achieved legendary status due to being a common trade BITD of B&P, and for its featured write-ups in the tape-trading journals and fan mags. Indeed, it was the first '72 in my collection, and I dubbed it many times for those building their basic tapelists. Many different versions circulated, with different amounts of banter, missing tracks, lots of clicks, pitch errors, and often trimmed to two C90s.
The show was a benefit to help Ken Kesey, whose family members owned a creamery in the region that was in the red. The venue rented was the "Country Fair" grounds - known at the time as "Renaissance Faire" grounds. Back then the highway didn't go west from Veneta (today's highway runs through this field), so you had to drive in from Elmira. Adding to the confusion is the temporary Rennaisance-branded nickname "Temple Meadow". But it's just the Country Fair site, Veneta. They returned to the [since changed] property 8/28/82, and a two-day show for 8/22 & 8/23/92 was cancelled.
The stage announcements are by a cosmically-tuned, in-character Ken Babbs, communing via two-way radio with Kesey (also in character). A film crew that had been asking to film an outdoor Dead show was given permission for this appearance (the rights to which held up all official releases until at least one participant had passed). Jer plays the sunburst Strat that he gave to Hidalgo in '89. The official release cuts ½hr of tunings, changing the character of the show, making it seem much tighter - even the band introduction track is edited (12mins cut on Disc 1, 8mins on D2 and ~9mins from D3, not counting intermissions). But certainly the mixdown is superb (and differs from our old SBDs in that different instruments are heard in different places). The now-official documentary (in which Keith is invisible) has 9 of the songs - 8 of them as actual concert footage. We often say "I wish I was at that show" when talking about our faves, but with 109deg heat, no water and a lack of toilets that made the woods busy, this is a show better appreciated today. Not a top ten for '72, but a great show and a must-hear. Though to this day I'm worried about all those missing kids.
First Set. Promised Land opens as a warming-up exercise and Sugaree, with no real solos, bogs a bit. Bobby is not amused by Babbs tripping in character and allowed a mic. They warm for Me & My Uncle but Deal is the first to stand out, delivering X factor. Black Throated has the cloverleaf lyric, becoming solid (if rote) after a rough start. The China>Rider is thrilling. Check out how Jer backs Bobby when he goes off
@4:45>5:15, and then how easily they switch. The jam into Rider is superb. On the longer songs the guitars detune in the sun, but Jer quickly tunes during Rider - though going a little sharp. Even if not the tightest Mexicali, these molecules are excited. It's Bobby and Keith that really send this Bertha to classic status. Frustrated with a stage facing the sun, the band waits a long time for its descent before returning.
Second Set. An inimitable set, starting with a Playin' that's more or less a perfect '72, with Jer playing a Strat through a wah. During band intros, Keith plays a brief Hearse Song. He's Gone is super solid. After, there is a 26 Miles tuning, that's cut from many sources (and the official). Jack Straw is typical of '72, but this Bird Song is the model organism for psychonaut agency. And that's not all: this Greatest Story is gonna send ya (up on a quasar). Due to the heat and tuning problems they cut short, and wait again.
Third Set. Dark Star isn't a standout for '72, but it's welcome. The segue out of El Paso has a 14sec cut on the official (the doc trims this by 35secs). Even though still a trudge, this Sing Me is one of the better versions. After an average Sugar Mag the detailed playing in Casey Jones is good enough to overcome the generic choice. Saturday Night is attacked as if a fresh band, surely leaving 'em happy into the humid twilight.
China Cat>I Know You Rider - the jam and the interplay are superb, OOT be damned
Mexicali Blues - excited molecules
Bertha - a classic, sent
Playing in the Band - more or less perfect
Bird Song - must-hear version
Greatest Story Ever Told - supernal
One More Saturday Night - hotter than soup
SOURCES: Three sources originate all versions: a Betty Board, a 16-track master, and a film crew SBD. The latter has been the traditional source and used to trade in all manner of cuts and hissy generations. Unlike many shows, after the Betty SBD appeared it was not wholly preferred. All sources have various, differing edits, sometimes in the songs but mostly of the tunings and patter. The serafin_8045 is the most complete SBD overall and perhaps best-mastered. It is still slightly fast in places, divides Playin' into three tracks and still has some tuning edits - and a song edit of 6sec during the end solo of GSET (@4:16 on the official). The bertha-ashley_21619 is an EQd version with reverb and different edits. Though not as lovingly handled as the serafin_8045, the hollister_2199 is nicely cleaned up and sonically accurate (again with different edits). The orf_3328 is the other source. The 16-track was mixed and released as Sunshine Daydream. The companion documentary has footage of the day, plus nine of the songs, and used to circulate on grainy, multi-generation VHS. Sing Me Back Home is on So Many Roads.
April 16, 2015 Subject:
"That ole sun's making our instruments sound mighty strange"
Okay, here's what I've noticed. EVERY SINGLE CLASSIC, CLASSIC SHOW supposedly has a "technical difficulty."
I usually don't ever hear "technical difficulties," but Bobby will always announce it, and they all fiddle with pedals and knobs for a while, making us wait like a teen at prom.
I'm convinced it's a practical joke. For crying out loud, the were Merry Pranksters! I love it!!!
December 29, 2014 Subject:
One more wave upon the sand...
This is an even smoother copy of this show than the one I listened to the 1st set on.
Bobby makes a comment about 'every time he has been to Oregon it has rained, but now it is just too damned hot'
Donna Jean on stage for all of 5 minutes and then a huge Playing jam. I am pretty sure they put this jam more towards the beginning of the movie.
This is just such a smoking hot PLAYING JAM!!!
Bobby does an intro of Donna and Keith at the end
I like the He's Gone especially for Donna mellowness (Not much of a jam in it compared to some of what else is in this show.)
"Spare love always for a hippie" > JACK STRAW nice version everyone singing background for Bobby, (This is before Jerry's verses had major prominence in the song.) Phil's bass up in the mix.
BIRD SONG-could you get a better setting for a tune in tribute to Janis Joplin. and the jam just flows...
'Greatest Story' is super funky, I like Donna singing on this tune, it apes Bob on!!!
Slam dancing with the Grateful Dead...
"You know the one thing we need is a left handed monkey wrench"
Anytime you were at a show and you were getting ready for a 3rd set you were in high cotton.
The Dark Star is just right on. You know how in real estate it's location, location, location,
Well with the Dead it was always the vibe, the vibe. the vibe!
It might get a little old listening to some of those stage announcements but you have to understand that is 'hippies in charge'.
Question: What happens if you freak out at a show in a hockey arena
Answer: You might go to jail, You might wind up in the Emergency Room. or much worse.
Well if something happened like that at a show run by hippies you would be getting aid at a CALM tent. Nobody would be shining a flashlight in your eyes asking to see your drivers license.
So really what makes this show so over the top is the Dead are able to just relax and play music.
There are no gorilla's in yellow slickers waiting to pounce on the first dude who breaks out a bowl.
Your clothing getting too much for you? Just peel it off. I took my pants off at the Meadowlands after one of the crazy summer thunderstorms and I am real fortunate that I wasn't launched off the upper deck by overzealous STAFF.
Wow, the Dark Star just goes off into some JAM. Very nice can pick-out contributions by everyone.
Jerry has been playing his guitar on the edge of a total meltdown all day and into the night.
(So if you add in time travel during this Dark Star it could well be one of the longest shows ever.) -just saying!
That last bit of jam is pure SPACE and then somehow Bobby brings EL PASO. I am not really sure how anyone could even speak at this point.
Bobby brings the lyrics while Billy is beating his drums fiercely. Talk about a crash landing!
It is about 2 minutes in before the band seems to be back headed in the same direction again.
There is not much of a jam in this El Paso but just that transition from deep in outer space to El Paso is simply mind blowing.
I always liked, "Sing Me Back Home'(it kinda has the same intro backbeat as COMES A TIME here.) This is one of those hard luck tunes like GREEN GRASS OF HOME. I think the Dead really enjoyed playing those tragic irony tunes. Also this tune is perfect for Donna Jean to back up Jerry on vocals.
Jerry's voice is so sweet on this tune!
This might be as soulful as Garcia ever got with the Grateful Dead. Usually you had to see J.G.B to get that deep. On this night this is simply one of the best ballads ever played by the Grateful Dead.
The Sugar Magnolia is very good. When everybody in the band is together this song just moves.
I can see in my minds eye just perpetual motion.
Bobby just about growls during S.S.D
Casey Jones-"Watch your SPEED!!!"
OMSN-Going out with a bang!
Not a taper but I dig all the TLC that was put into getting the best sound for this recording.
Reviewer:dc in colorado
September 11, 2012 Subject:
The sound quality and performance quality here are both quite good.
The many, many interruptions for stage announcements are very, very annoying.
Look on youtube for an interesting movie shot during this concert. It is loaded with images of the original full-on flower child/hippie vibe that would be mostly gone within a few years of this date, but would spawn decades worth of cliches. Check out the naked dude standing on a pole somewhere behind the stage. He is in a perfect position to be in most shots of the band, seriously standing on his pole, tripping, tripping, tripping.....
September 27, 2011 Subject:
Being not a fan of the '71-'72 sound,
I still have to rate this one pretty high. Honestly, I don't mind the split sections. The jams in this show are unique, Phil's bass jam is unusually dynamic and funky (his solo jams are often more stately and spacey than this), and Keith in particular is very on. The recording is super warm-sounding, with Bobby's voice in the 3rd set having a little bit of ping-pong echo to it, like I'm standing right there between the stage and the woods. Wish I could still download it, but I'm glad I can at least stream it. My favorite '72 show that I've heard so far.
May 1, 2011 Subject:
Have to agree about the song splitting. Subtracting one star for that
April 7, 2011 Subject:
An excellent recording of an excellent show during an excellent era for the Dead. The jamming in Playing and Darkstar is ultra-spacy, just the ticket for late night listening.
March 14, 2011 Subject:
One of My All-Time Favourites
many thanks to Jay for posting this and putting in so much hard work on this beautiful sounding masterpiece. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of this Dead treasure chest but Jay's story made me pause and think about the amount of work that goes into making this all available.
Anyways about this show, it's always been among my favourites, Things don't really take off until the second set in which everything is played to perfection. These for me may be the definitive versions of He's Gone and Jack Straw.
The 3rd set is as good if not better. One of very favourite Dark Stars with some gorgeous jazzy passages that just melt into outer space near the end. A superb (again, maybe my favourite) Sing Me Back Home and note perfect versions of Sugar Mag & Casey Jones
If you've never heard this one, check it out!
January 1, 2009 Subject:
this is the one of the best sounding versions of this show on here. the dank seed one is good too. only thing i dont like is split up dark star and playing in the band
November 9, 2008 Subject:
No need for the Cuisinart.
Some of us are just listening with no concern whatsoever of making a cd or downloading. It is just here in the now for your pleasure. The stage banter is part of the whole show and experience.
September 12, 2008 Subject:
Thanks Jay. I had set 2 of this show for years and it was always one of my favs. Much appreciated for all the time spent on it. Peace brother.